poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Thanking My Lucky Stars…


One of my life philosophies is, “If my stomach is happy, then I’m happy.” That’s why I’m very fortunate to: 1. live in Berkeley, home of great ethnic food, awesome produce, and relatively affordable fancy cuisine, and 2. have a friend like JA, who can cook like no one I’ve ever known. I mean, a lot of my friends can cook a great meal — don’t get me wrong. But JA puts amazing meals together with such effortlessness. Me, I sit there and stare at a recipe, try to commit it to memory, but inevitably return to said recipe again and again. Even stuff I’ve cooked 5, 10 times, I still rely on recipes too much. JA says things like, “How about I grill some pork medallions with zucchini, then drizzle it with bourbon and coconut reduction?” UM, YES PLEASE, THANK YOU.

(As an aside, JA might be familiar to loyal readers, as many of you were big fans of his breakfast sandwich.)

Below are 3 different meals between May and July made by JA. Bon apetit!

First up! JA had me and KP over for leftovers: coconut curry with carrots, onions, and other veggies (sorry the exact contents have escaped my memory) over romaine, with freshly grilled chicken thighs. The photo doesn’t do the meal justice.

Unlike any leftovers you've ever had.

Next: JA treated me to a home cooked, three-course dinner, with wine pairings. It was awesome.

Green salad with avocado, Gruyère cheese, and dried cranberries, in a citrus vinaigrette.

Check out those burn marks!

The aforementioned grilled pork and zucchini with bourbon and coconut reduction. And sautéed spinach. Drool.

Dessert: strawberries, orange slices, and dark chocolate. So he didn't make this one from scratch. I'm not complaining.

Finally, we have a special meal that JA prepared when SM came to visit me in Berkeley. On the menu: grilled pizza and flourless chocolate cake!

Ready for night grilling! JA with coat, pan, and headlamp.

Assembling the pizzas

Fresh off the grill! Tomato sauce, yellow bell peppers, baby spinach, prosciutto, and Parmesan (I think).

Flourless chocolate cakes cooling, waiting to be served with sweet nuts and homemade strawberry mint sauce.

Not pictured: seasonal cocktails and homemade corn salsa were served as we waited for the pizza dough to thaw. Not too shabby, huh?

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

7 thoughts on “Thanking My Lucky Stars…

  1. i want bourbon pork medallions!!

  2. You DO have some lucky stars. Older sis has the same blessing- her BF is the most amazing chef as well. The fact that they do it so effortlessly is what amazes me the most. And now I’m hungry. You had me at coconut….

  3. And they say the way to a MAN’s heart is through his stomach??? I think someone’s both a pretty darned good cook AND a smart man 🙂 thanks for sharing!!!

  4. simply friggin amazing!

  5. You had me at headlamp.

  6. That pizza meal was awesome, got that right.

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